Six varieties of spring tea to enjoy in season<br /> 春暖花開正是品茶好時機 春茶種類有這些 - Taipei Times
Wed, Apr 04, 2018 - Page 14 News List

Six varieties of spring tea to enjoy in season
春暖花開正是品茶好時機 春茶種類有這些

Six varieties of spring tea, clockwise from the 12 o’clock position: Tieguanyin (Iron Goddess) tea, Sijichun tea, Oolong tea, Oriental Beauty tea, Pouchong tea and high-mountain tea.
六種春茶茶葉,由十二點鐘位置起依順時針方向為:鐵觀音、四季春、烏龍茶、東方美人茶、包種茶、高山茶。

Photo: Liberty Times
照片:自由時報

What is spring tea?

During the period from the Qingming Festival to the summer solstice (mid-March to early May), moderate temperatures, abundant rainfall, and the tea trees’ recuperation during autumn and winter make tea leaves particularly green and aromatic. Therefore, tea leaves harvested in the spring are called “spring tea,” and embody the refreshing taste unique to the season. April and May is the best time to taste spring tea.

Varieties and origins of spring tea

Oolong tea: Lightly fermented and lightly roasted, it retains more of the original taste and light floral fragrance of the leaves. Dong Ding Oolong tea, produced in Nantou County’s Lugu Township, is one of the best-known varieties of oolong tea.

High-mountain tea: The essence of high-mountain tea is that the tea tree absorbs the nutrients in the soil which produces a unique-tasting tea liquor. The specific composition of the soil of each area produces different-tasting teas. Tea grown at middle altitudes below 1000m has milder taste; while tea grown at altitudes higher than 1000m has a stronger flavor. The main tea varieties are Alishan high-mountain tea and Lishan high-mountain tea.

Pouchong tea: It is said to be the most typical of Taiwan’s specialty teas. Pouchong tea leaves have a striped appearance and are emerald green in color. It has a sweet and mellow aroma. Its most important quality is the aroma — the more aromatic the better the quality. The main product is Wenshan Pouchong tea grown in the north of Taiwan.

Sijichun tea: It is the most common tea variety in Taiwan, which has high chill resistance and a distinct aroma. Its name Sijichun (lit. four-season spring) comes from its short winter dormancy and seven-to-eight harvests per year. The main production areas of Sijichun are Taipei’s Muzha District, Nantou’s Mingjian Township.

TODAY’S WORDS
今日單字

1. oolong tea phr.

烏龍茶 (wu1 long2 cha2)

2. fermented adj.

發酵 (fa1 xiao4)

3. high-mountain tea phr.

高山茶 (gao1 shan1 cha2)

4. aroma n.

香氣 (xiang1 qi4)

5. oriental beauty tea phr.

東方美人茶 (dong1 fang1 mei3 ren2 cha2)

6. oxidation n.

氧化 (yang3 hua4)


Tieguanyin (Iron Goddess) tea: The complicated production process gives this kind of tea curled, tight, and heavy leaves with frost-like white traces. Tieguanyin tea has a strong and lasting aroma and the tea liquor has a rich golden color. New Taipei City’s Shimen District is the main growing area for Tieguanyin tea.

Oriental Beauty tea: It is Taiwan’s unique tea variety, also known as White Tip Oolong tea or Pom-fong tea. It is grown without pesticides to encourage a common pest, the tea green leafhopper, to suck the nutrient in the tips. The insect bites start the oxidation of the leaves and tips, and add a sweet note to the tea. The main places of origin are Hsinchu’s Beipu Township and Emei Township, and New Taipei City’s Shiding District and Pinglin District.

How to store tea

The main way to preserve tea leaves is to store them inside a sealed container. Places with moisture and smells are the worst place to store tea — such as in the refrigerator — which can damage the quality of the tea. Tea leaves are usually stored at room temperature in the airtight container that came with the tea when purchased, or in an aftermarket airtight tea container. It is best to finish the tea before the best before date.

(Liberty Times, translated by Lin Lee-kai)

春茶是甚麼?

從清明至夏至(三月中旬至五月上旬),由於溫度適中、雨量豐沛,加上茶樹經秋冬季的休生養息,使得茶葉色澤翠綠、香氣濃郁,因此在春天收成的茶,就叫做春茶,象徵一年初始,散發清新嫩綠、專屬於春天的味道。四月到五月是品嘗春茶最好的時機。

春茶種類和產地

烏龍茶:輕發酵輕焙火,保留較多茶葉的原始茶香口感,具有茶葉本身輕花香的特質。主要茶種有南投鹿谷的凍頂烏龍茶。

高山茶:高山茶的特色就是茶樹吸收土壤的養分,養成茶湯的味道,而每一個地區土壤的成分不同,養成的茶湯味道也就不同;海拔一千公尺以下所產的中海拔茶種味道較溫潤;一千公尺以上的茶味則比較濃厚。主要茶種有阿里山高山茶、梨山高山茶。

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